Murphy's Laws on Technology
- You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the
- Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion
- Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some bloody fool
discovers something which either abolished the system or expands it
- Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not
- If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,
then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy
- The opulence of the front office door varies inversely with the
fundamental solvency of the firm.
- The attention span of a computer is only as long as its electrical
- An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until
he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
- Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll
believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to
touch to be sure.
- All great discoveries are made by mistake.
- Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.
- Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
- All's well that ends.
- A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours
- The first myth of management is that it exists.
- A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final
- New systems generate new problems.
- To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a
- We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.
- Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
- A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working
20 years make.
- Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an
honest day's work.
- Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who
wrote the book or even what book.
- The primary function of the design engineer is to make things
difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.
- To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take
the longest and cost the most.
- After all is said and done, a heck of a lot more is said than
- Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is
obsolete, two parts which are unobtainable, and three parts which are
still under development.
- A complex system that works in invariably found to have evolved
from a simple system that works.
- If mathematically you end up with the incorrect answer, try
multiplying by the page number.
- Comptuers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any
system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.
- Give all orders verbally. Never write anything down that might go
into a "Pearl Harbor File."
- Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure,
temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will
do as it bloody well pleases.
- If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.
- The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that
the competition already has the order.
- In designing any type of construction, no everall dimension can be
totalled correctly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The correct total will
become self-evident at 8:15 a.m. on Monday.
- Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it
- All things are possible except skiing through a revolving
- The only perfect science is hind-sight.
- Work smarder and not harder and be careful of yor speling.
- If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.
- If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.
- Whel all else fails, read the instructions.
- If there is a possibility of several things going wrong the one
that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.
- Everything that goes up must come down.
- Any instrument when dropped will roll into the least accessible
- Any simple theory will be worded in the most complicated way.
- Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want
to use it.
- The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to
the level of management.